I am stunned and dismayed by today’s release of the Nunes memo. One thing becomes immediately clear after reading the Nunes memo: It’s so poorly sourced and so clearly biased that it’s difficult to come up with any rational reason for its release.
The manner in which this memo was put together and released should cause everyone to question what is being presented as fact. It’s the height of hypocrisy to release a classified memo in the name of transparency while at the same ...time blocking Democrats from releasing their contrary views.
Even worse, the FBI and Justice Department were denied the opportunity to brief members on the classified information that supposedly underpins this selective and misleading memo, even after they voiced their strong objections to its release.
This document is everything that is improper for any credible investigation into a set of facts and circumstances, and in my opinion puts an end to the majority’s ability to do any credible, fact-based intelligence assessments.
The refusal to allow contrary evidence to be put forward is unprecedented. In my 17 years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, I know of no instance where additional views were refused, particularly in a situation where the underlying facts remain classified and unavailable for review.
The Nunes memo is clearly intended to impugn the Steele dossier – of which no significant fact has been disproved – and to discredit the FBI, thereby creating an atmosphere in which the president can replace large numbers of individuals in law enforcement and the intelligence community and replace them with his own people.
If any leader of the FBI or intelligence community is dismissed due to prejudicial information from this memo, with no opportunity to bring forward contradictory facts, that would raise serious questions of legality, not to mention abuse of power.
I strongly disagree with President Trump’s decision to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open. After 16 years, it’s time for this shameful period to come to an end.
Nearly 800 individuals have cycled through the prison, but today there are only 41, five of whom have been cleared for transfer. With a cost that has now topped $5 billion, keeping Guantanamo open is a drain on taxpayers and a recruiting tool for terrorists.
Most importantly, holding prisoners without charge or trial f...or decades erodes the bedrock of our democracy. It’s a clear violation of due process and the rule of law. And it’s not even necessary in a practical sense, as our federal courts have proven themselves fully capable of handling the most complex terrorism cases.
I call on President Trump to listen to military experts and his advisors in the intelligence community and reverse course on Guantanamo. With so few individuals detained, now is the time to act. Kickstart the review process or trials for the remaining prisoners and close this facility once and for all.
Read my comments on the president’s State of the Union address.
Proud to be joined today by gymnasts and congressional colleagues for the final push on legislation to protect young athletes from sexual abuse.
Our bill strengthens reporting requirements and policies for amateur athletic organizations like USA Gymnastics to better protect young athletes from abuse.
The bill we’re voting on today is the latest attack in the decades-long Republican effort to eliminate a woman’s right to control her own body. This bill failed just two years ago. The fact that it’s being brought up again to appease Republicans’ political base is beyond the pale.
Late-term abortions are often the result of tragic pregnancy complications including fatal fetal conditions and severe threats to a woman’s health. I’ve heard from women who were elated to be pregn...ant, only to discover a fatal fetal anomaly. Women facing these situations experience tremendous physical and emotional pain and must be able to make difficult decisions with their families and their doctors.
The blanket ban in this bill makes no exception for a woman’s health. A woman would need to be at risk of death or irreversible harm to receive care under this bill. Any doctor who provided care to a woman before that point would be criminalized. This bears repeating: The bill denies health care to women until they are near death and criminalizes doctors.
This is just another example of men making decisions about women’s health care based on a political ideology. It’s long past time that a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions and control her own destiny is respected. We will fight efforts to erode those rights at every turn.
President Trump and Republicans cannot be allowed to use Dreamers as a bargaining chip for their wish list of anti-immigrant policies. Twenty-five billion for an unnecessary wall, billions to break up families through raids in communities, the loss of protections for unaccompanied immigrant children and the elimination of family-based immigration are all non-starters.
The take-it-or–leave-it proposals put out by the White House will not make our country safer and will only serve to encourage illegal immigration because families will not be permitted to lawfully reunite.
It’s time to pass the Dream Act, which is bipartisan. Then we can work toward comprehensive immigration reform.
Over the past two weeks, 156 survivors and their families came forward to share devastating stories of Larry Nassar’s abuse. Woman after woman talked about how the failure of USA Gymnastics to put a stop to the abuse and protect them was nearly as painful as the abuse itself.
The judge in the case is right: Nassar deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. This man devastated hundreds of lives. And if we don’t act in response to the most widespread abuse in sports history, another predator like Larry Nassar will inevitably abuse young athletes in the future.
Our bill, which requires mandatory reporting of abuse and holds organizations like USA Gymnastics accountable for implementing safeguards to prevent abuse, has passed the Senate. The time for the House to act is now. This bill needs to be signed into law immediately.
I voted no on the bill today for one reason: It didn’t include the Dream Act, as has been repeatedly promised. I’m frustrated and angry that once again we were prevented from voting on that bill.
We’ve debated the Dream Act for 17 years, and for 17 years Republicans have blocked the bill. Now, with the fate of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers in the balance, Republican leadership again refused to allow a vote.
We have an obligation to these young people. We need to act. It’s the right thing to do.
I said in December that I wouldn’t vote for a CR without the Dream Act, and I won’t do so now.
I’m also hopeful that we can get away from continuing resolutions and get back to regular order. We can’t solve problems by funding the government a few weeks at a time. As a longtime member of the Appropriations Committee, I know the importance of funding the military and government agencies for a full-year.
I’m hopeful that other senators won’t kick this can down the road yet again. We need to get the Dream Act passed, negotiate a multi-year budget agreement and fund the government through September, and we need to do so now.
I wanted to share a video I recorded for a gathering today in Southern California to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King once told us "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." So on this #MLKDay, let us not be afraid to speak out against intolerance, speak out against harassment and speak out against injustice.
President Trump’s vile comments about Africa and Haiti are despicable and beneath the dignity of the presidency. They unquestionably diminish our country’s standing in the world.
America’s greatness is enshrined in the words written on the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ It’s been said that America is an idea. That idea is rooted in the belief that people from all over the world could come here, whether they w...ere fleeing persecution, poverty, or war, or simply looking for a better life for themselves and their families.
The president’s expressed desire to see more immigrants from countries like Norway must be called out for what it is: an effort to set this country back generations by promoting a homogenous, white society.
The president’s words make the jobs of Americans stationed all over the world harder—soldiers, diplomats and businesses. Hate crimes against Muslims, Jews, LGBT individuals and other minorities have increased over the past two years. White nationalism, which led to the death of a peaceful protestor in August, is on the rise.
We all need to stop pretending that there are no consequences when the most powerful person in the world espouses racist views and gives a wink and a nod to the darkest elements in our society.
If the president can’t control himself and lead this country with the authority, dignity and leadership it requires, then he shouldn’t be the president. There’s no room for racism in the Oval Office.
It was 16 years ago today that the first detainees arrived at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Since then, 780 detainees have been held there. I have called on both the Obama and Bush administrations to remove and transfer all detainees and close the facility, and hundreds of detainees have been transferred or released. Today, 41 detainees remain, five of whom have been cleared for transfer to other countries and 36 who remain in legal limbo.
This prison has cost taxpay...ers more than $5 billion, and the propaganda value for terrorists has been even greater. It’s time to close this prison once and for all, so today I call on President Trump to restart the review process for those prisoners who haven’t been cleared for transfer or charged with a crime.
I also call on Congress to lift the ban on transferring detainees to the United States and allow those who can’t be prosecuted at Guantanamo to be prosecuted in federal criminal court.
With only 5 percent of the total population still there, I believe we should be able to finally get this done. Guantanamo has been a stain on our national conscience, and it’s time to shut the facility down.
The American people deserve the opportunity to see the transcript of the Judiciary Committee’s interview with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. Read it for yourself:
The Trump administration’s reckless ‘drill, baby, drill’ approach threatens our oceans and coasts while doing nothing to increase our energy independence. California neither needs nor wants risky new offshore oil rigs, and I’ll do all I can to oppose this plan.
This announcement is especially egregious considering it was just last week that the administration announced it was cutting back on safety requirements for offshore rigs developed after the Deepwater Horizon spill. Gi...ving the oil industry free reign of our federal waters is a disastrous idea.
It’s particularly shocking that the administration is pushing for new oil drilling off the coast of California. We still remember the horror of the 1969 Santa Barbara spill, when an offshore oil rig leaked more than 100,000 barrels. There has been no new drilling in state waters since that spill and no new drilling in federal waters off the coast of California since 1984.
The days of drilling for oil are numbered. We have clean energy alternatives that can grow our economy faster without jeopardizing our coastal economies and natural resources. We simply won’t tolerate unnecessary and risky new offshore drilling.